Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Pioneer Woman's Macaroni and Cheese

"Hot and Cheesy Pleasy" has become a mantra of sorts in my family ever since it was the response from my sister-in-law when asked if she would like cold or hot spinach dip for her birthday dinner.  Now, no matter the dish, if it is ever in question we all smile and say "hot and cheesy pleasy"!  

I know I have said it before but it is a blessing that I never take for granted and that is the gift of having a sister-in-law who is also one of my best friends!  She is truly a gift to our family and I am beyond grateful for her kindness, her humor, her wit and her love...she's just kinda the best!

Now back to the good stuff...I have tried countless recipes for macaroni and cheese and think I make a pretty mean dish, but in the same breath I am never averse to trying a new never know when you are going to find that recipe that beats all the rest!  

Recently Dad was watching The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network and thought this would be an amazing side to a standing rib roast we had planned to cook as well.  How could we go wrong....for one, the Pioneer Woman has never, and I mean never, lead us astray, and two, there is half a stick of butter and a pound of cheese!  In the words of my my brother, 'nuf said!

4 cups Dried Macaroni
1 whole Egg Beaten
¼ cups (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
¼ cups All-purpose Flour
2-½ cups Whole Milk
2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
1 pound Cheese, Grated
½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
½ teaspoons Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme
Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
In a small bowl, beat egg.

In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
Add in cheese and stir to melt.
Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.
Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.
Here are some fun pictures of Emory at the pool! Can you tell he loves the water????
How could you not just love this sweet face?
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